We are delighted to announce the first recipient of our Launchpad grant for documentary filmmakers!
We will provide services free-of-charge to the forthcoming documentary film, "On a Knife Edge." From director Jeremy Williams and producer Eli Kane, "On a Knife Edge" is a film five years in the making about Guy Dull Knife and his son, George, that unfolds as George comes of age on South Dakota's Pine Ridge Reservation.
The first ever Smarthouse Launchpad Grant will provide the "On a Knife Edge" filmmaking team with the resources they need to run a wide-reaching marketing campaign in support of their upcoming summer festival and community screenings. More information about the project is available at onaknifeedge.com.
"We received so many submissions from exciting projects--it was a truly difficult decision. We chose "On a Knife Edge" for the unparalleled access it gave into the live of George Dull Knife and his family, and the skillful storytelling displayed by the filmmakers. We are excited to help the project gain exposure and build the audience it deserves!" says Ryan Davis, Co-founder & Principal of Smarthouse Creative.
"We are elated to be the recipients of the inaugural Smarthouse Launchpad Grant! The Smarthouse team is creating an ambitious and adventurous platform for filmmakers to push boundaries and explore new ways to engage with audiences. On behalf of Jeremy Williams and the entire team at Normal Life Pictures, I'd like to express our gratitude and excitement at working with Smarthouse to design a campaign which will extend the reach of our film within many communities," adds Eli Cane, Producer of "On a Knife Edge".
Stay tuned for more updates about our work on the project over at our Facebook page!
About the film
"On a Knife Edge" is a father-son story about Guy and George Dull Knife that unfolds over the course of George’s coming-of-age journey. Under his father’s guidance, George becomes an activist and organizer, and begins identifying with the role of traditional Lakota warrior, which he views as his family legacy. He commits himself to the fight for social justice, but struggles with adapting the old ways and his father’s expectations to the modern-day realities of growing up on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Told largely through George’s eyes, the film offers a privileged glimpse into the youngest generation of the American Indian Movement, as well as George’s own evolving notions of Native identity, manhood, and duty. His story is interwoven with animated sequences that depict five generations of family history, narrated by his father and based on paintings he has created to explore the continuum of their fight through the generations.
About the filmmakers
Jeremy Williams (Director) is a BAFTA Award-winning director who has worked in television for twenty years and made more than 40 documentary films as a producer and director. He is currently a lecturer in Film and Television practice at the University of Falmouth in the UK in their Department of Film and Television. Jeremy has been a long‐time collaborator with October Films, producing a number of television documentaries and two feature-length docs: London and Ghosts of the 7th Cavalry, the latter nominated for a One World Media Award for Best Documentary in 2008. Recently he produced and directed Restless Flights, which profiled Nobel Literature Prize winner JMG Le Clezio, and Orphans of Burma’s Cyclone, for Channel 4 in the UK which was shown in WNET’s Wide Angle series as Eyes of the Storm. Orphans recently won the Rory Peck Award in London as well as the Childrens’ Rights Award at the 2010 One World Media Awards. Jeremy made Jack with Normal Life Pictures, a short film about a Lakota Vietnam veteran, which won first prize at the National Museum of the American Indian’s Veteran’s Day Film Contest in 2010.
Eli Cane (Producer) runs Normal Life Pictures, a New York-based production company. Most recently, he produced the ground-breaking videos for Solange’s Grammy-winning song “Cranes in the Sky” and “Don’t Touch My Hair.” He was producer and music supervisor for The Market Maker, which aired nationally on PBS as a Wide Angle in 2009 and was selected for the Good Pitch at Silverdocs. He also produced a feature-length documentary for the Why Poverty? series entitled Land Rush, about agricultural land grabs in Mali and the future of food sovereignty. The film was featured at the Good Pitch London in 2011 and at IDFA in 2012, and has been screened in both the UK Parliament and the US Capital Building. In addition, the film became a center-piece of Oxfam’s “Behind the Brands” campaign, and aired in dozens of cities around the US in honor of World Food Day in 2013. The film was instrumental in achieving the campaign’s primary goal of convincing PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Nestlé, and Illovo to adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards land grabs. The Why Poverty? series was a co-production between ITVS and the BBC and over a dozen other broadcasters, and when it aired in December 2012 it was seen by over 800 million viewers worldwide. The films in the Why Poverty? series won a Peabody Award for Excellence in Journalism in 2013.